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The Latest DVD, Blu Ray & VOD Releases

By John Moore

The Young Pope: The Complete First Season
(HBO Home Entertainment)
With an impressive cast (Jude Law, Diane Keaton, James Cromwell) and just enough controversy, The Young Pope's first season was impressive, if not a little tame in comparison to shows like Game of Thrones. Law plays a young American priest elected Pope. His ultra-conservative views and unwillingness to play nice with others in the Vatican makes for a unique character that bucks Hollywood clichés. As with any show/movie that portrays the Catholic Church there was the expected backlash from conservatives, but that just added to the show's appeal.

Saving Banksy
(Candy Factory Films)
This documentary about the controversy behind folks looking to preserve the street art of the mysterious Banksy and those out to simply exploit it for their own financial gain is nearly as fascinating as the identity of the artist. San Francisco art collector and preservationist Brian Greif tries to rescue a spray-painted Banksy rat from the side of a downtown apartment. As he negotiates with the homeowner to buy, remove and preserve the piece before someone defaces it, there is amother art collector looking to buy it to simply flip it for a profit. With plenty of interviews from fellow street artists and others in the art collection world, Saving Banksy is a fantastic look at an insular community that is still a mystery to most.

Heat: Director's Definitive Edition
(Twentieth Century Home Entertainment)
More than 20 years after this iconic crime drama was first released, completests can finally rejoice thanks to the latest edition of this classic. Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Val Kilmer, this Michael Mann masterpiece became the crime heist film that all others would be judged against. The Director's Definitive edition comes with a slew of deleted scenes, three separate theatrical trailers, a Q&A with the director from the Toronto Film Festival, a panel with the actors moderated by one of the movie's biggest fans, Christopher Nolan and several other mini-docs. This latest collection is like mana from heaven for film buffs.

Blake Edwards' The Pink Panther Film Collection Starring Peter Sellers
(Shout! Factory)
In this streamlined but feature-packed collection, the meticulous archivists at Shout! Factory have assembled the definitive collection of Peter Sellers' Pink Panther film series. The six comedy-mystery movies included literally span the life of the actor's beloved, bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau character. The franchise began with his debut in the jewel-heist caper "The Pink Panther" and continued with the hastily-issued follow-up "A Shot In The Dark" - offering a double-dose of Clouseau from 1964. While Sellers was in demand for other productions, the role was set aside for a decade except for one misguided instalment, 1968's "Inspector Clouseau," starring Alan Arkin. Thankfully that film - while not as excruciatingly bad as the more recent Steve Martin reboots - is not included in the set. Sellers and producer-director Blake Edwards resurrected Clouseau in the successful "Return of the Pink Panther" in 1975 and began a short streak of box-office hits with the star in fine form and the director keeping the slapstick storylines mostly coherent while working around Sellers' multiple characters and penchant for inspired bits of improvisation. While "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (1976) and "Revenge of the Pink Panther" (1978) were strong chapters, "Trail of the Pink Panther" was a sad episode in 1982. Released two years after Sellers death, "Trail" is a wildly uneven collection of leftover bits, pieced together by Edwards as a tribute to the late actor and one last gasp of the original series. More and less-enjoyable Panthers followed, but this set is all Sellers and a must-have for fans and devotees of comedic filmmaking. Extras include a 24-page book, new interviews, select audio commentaries, theatrical and TV trailers and an extensive photo gallery marking the release a loving tribute to the genius of Sellers, who died 37 years ago this month.

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